After being single for five years, the idea of finding a guy was almost a joke to me. I mean, I liked myself, my dog, my house and my mom — what else did I need? True story, though — one Sunday morning, one of my Dream Teamers in KidsMin asks me if I had met his brother. I didn’t even know this guy existed, but Mason pointed at him from across the busy Sunnyvale foyer, and I promise you, in that moment, I knew something was afoot. It was not really like love at first sight. It was more like finding something that belongs to you that you didn’t know you were missing. We will celebrate our first wedding anniversary a month from today.
Attraction is an interesting thing, because when you feel it for another person, the first thing you do is try and make yourself as attractive as possible. We go to great lengths to catch someone’s eye, often working very hard, even if it results in the smallest of impressions.
You know when we don’t do this though? When it comes to connecting other people to Jesus. As Christians, we read about being a light to a dark world and salt to a tasteless worldview. As the American church, our response to that has been to become really good at doing all the right things, and we’ve done them so right for so long, it has given us the freedom to look down on those who don’t do it as well as we do.
Based on this, we pick our political candidates, the music we support, the movies we will watch, the stores we will shop in and the social media comments we leave behind. All of this has worked together to create this crater between us and the world that we no longer know how to cross. So much so, that when a certain Christian artist performs on a daytime talk show, we aren’t sure how to reconcile her motives. (“I heard she was rebranding herself as a secular artist now,” whatever that means).
We know we are not supposed to be attracted by the secular world, therefore we have made ourselves very unattractive to them.
We are quick to forget that Christ made himself attractive to us. Not physically, as Isaiah tells us:
… he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
— Isaiah 53:2
But a God that was so intangible and indescribable took on a form we recognized, touching people with hands identical to ours, and reached out to the lowest on the societal totem pole to show that all are welcomed to him without regard. He did not change his principles or commandments, but he made himself reachable and knowable, that none may perish due to his great love for them. And then he left us with this part of his job.
In Song of Solomon 1:8, Solomon calls his wife “most beautiful among women,” but look at what the other ladies of the court say about the bride of Solomon:
…We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine…
— Song of Solomon 1:5
This is not our current branding. But what would happen if we daily put on love and mercy? If we sought understanding and showed compassion? What would it be like if we actually answered the call to become all things to all people?
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
— 1 Corinthians 9:22
What would the world think of us then? More importantly, what would they think of God?
As we work on our relationships this month, let us remember that the greatest love song we will sing is that of Christ’s love for all.